The Great Schism

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The Great Schism During the late 14th century and the early 15th century there was a great division in the Catholic Church. The Papacy was becoming blurred. The center of the Roman Catholic Church had been moved from Rome to the city of Avignon during the reign of Pope Clement V; and there was now a movement to return the center of power back to Rome. This movement was first truly seen under Pope Gregory XI and his successor Pope Urban VI. Earlier Pope Urban V had moved the center to Rome but it had been proven to be no more than a temporary idea; he had gone back to Avignon to die and there his replacement, Pope Gregory XI was elected . This along with other political problems and circumstances created a split in the loyalty among different cities and countries between the two popes. In 1377 Pope Gregory XI had reestablished the Papacy in Rome which had previously been in Avignon. In the uncertainties of the events that followed the death of Pope Gregory XI, the conclave that was to elect his successor proved to be very much a struggle for control of the papacy between the different groups within the College of Cardinals. A conclave was formed and elected in his place an Italian who took one the name Pope Urban VI. He took over in 1378 and immediately decided to reform the curia. At this time the cardinals, who were mostly French, were not happy with the election of Pope Urban VI. The cardinals then went to the king of France, Charles V, and asked for his support in a movement against this new Pope. The Pope gave approval and supported the schism, which later became known as the "Great Schism". Once the cardinals gained support they quickly moved to elect their own Pope. The French cardinals' goal was to keep ... ... middle of paper ... ... ten years. These meetings were to hopefully keep something like this from happening in the future. Although there were many popes during this time period the Roman Catholic Church only acknowledges the line of popes that were in Rome. The line would go as follows: Pope Gregory XI, Pope Urban VI, Pope Bonaface IX, Innocent VII, and Pope Gregory XII and after the Council of Constance Pope Martin V. The "Great Schism" was a struggle not only over religious power but also of political power. The French and The Italians both wanted to keep the church under their influence; this is why it was so important to each of them to have a pope who was from their country and to have the center of the church in their country. Eventually this was all resolved in the Council of Constance, but during the "Great Schism" the church and its' followers were in a state of confusion.
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